The Mariners defying the rebuild; the rise of extensions and its effects on FA; the emergence of Pete Alonso
FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: The Mariners have already scored 100+ runs to start their season, and it has totally defied their expectations for a rebuilding year. Buoyed by strong starts from Edwin Encarnacion, Domingo Santana, and Dan Vogelbach (!!!!!), FanGraphs now projects them to be an 81-win team, something no one, even Jerry Dipoto, would have predicted.
Baseball Prospectus | Ginny Searle ($): Extensions have skyrocketed this season, and now Matt Carpenter is the next one along with Blake Snell, Justin Verlander, Mike Trout, Nolan Arenado, and others. A whopping 32% of top 50 players were extended this offseason and later, meaning that they by proxy will not hit free agency for a while. That leaves the likes of Gerrit Cole and Mookie Betts to test the waters down the road, and a worse fate awaits for the middle and lower tiered players.
The Ringer | Michael Baumann: The Mets have a new slugger in Pete Alonso, and he is now hitting .385/.429/.923 with five home runs through ten games. He had also barreled eight of his first 22 batted balls, which is an incredible feat of strength. He may not have as much value as a first baseman, but the team in Queens needed a beefy power hitter to compete in a now-contentious NL East.